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The Beatles fmr. bassist dies at 81

Flowers on a casket. (Unsplash)
May 24, 2023

Former bassist for The Beatles, Chas Newby, died earlier this week at the age of 81, according to the Cavern Club Liverpool music venue.

“It’s with great sadness to hear about the passing of Chas Newby. Chas stepped in for The Beatles for a few dates when Stuart Sutcliffe stayed in Hamburg and latterly he played for The Quarrymen. Interestingly, he was also the first left-handed bass guitarist in The Beatles. RIP Chas Newby thoughts and well wishes from everybody at The Cavern Club,” the venue posted on Facebook.

Before playing with The Beatles, Newby was part of John Lennon’s original group, The Quarrymen, according to Fox News. Newby rejoined the band in 2016 and continued playing with The Quarrymen until he died.

“What an amazing history [Chas] had, and you would never know the unassuming man having a pint next to you held such a part in the history of the musical legacy that was the Beatles,” one of the bassist’s fans wrote on Facebook.

“My heart goes out to his family and to all that we’re blessed to have known him Liverpool have lost another son,” another fan said.

Historian Mark Lewishon, who specializes in The Beatles, said Newby was a “charming man.”

“RIP Chas Newby, fill-in Beatle and fair chap. He deputised for Stuart on a few dates when the Beatles returned from Hamburg the first time, end-1960, including the momentous Litherland date. Latterly he’s been one of the Quarry Men too. A charming man, always a pleasure to meet,” he tweeted.

Newby’s death comes after another British bassist died last week. Andy Rourke, the longtime bassist for British rock band The Smiths, passed away at age 59.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer,” Johnny Marr, guitarist for The Smiths, said in a tweet. “Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans. We request privacy at this sad time.”